Performances take place on Friday July 23 and Saturday July 24 at 7 p.m. with a performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday July 25.
“Little shop of horrors” is a horror rock musical about Seymour Krelbourn, a flower shop worker (played by Brady Waibel) who discovers a mysterious plant that feeds on human blood. He names the plant Audrey II after his crush Audrey (Annaliese Emmons).
As the plant grows, Seymour and the Little Shop gain popularity. Unfortunately, the plant’s appetite also increases and the plant begins to make verbal demands for blood. Seymour is at odds over whether to feed the plant or risk losing his newfound fame and a chance at the heart of the girl of his dreams, Audrey.
“Little horror shop” is loosely based on a low budget 1960s movie. The musical is a farewell to old sci-fi B-movies. It is a unique production for SST.
Producer Christina Koester said this production was planned before the COVID pandemic. The idea was to address a different audience.
Koester said SSTC’s cast is usually made up of young and veteran artists, but Little Shop of Horrors’ cast is mostly made up of college and older students.
“It’s a very mature cast” she said. “There is a lot of experience here.
The production attracted several actors who had never performed in OHS.
Annaliese Emmons, who plays Audrey, said she was a huge fan of the musical and was waiting for a chance to audition for the production near her.
Over a year ago she did a google search “Little horror shop” productions and returned to SSTC production, but it was postponed for a year due to COVID. Emmons waited a year for the auditions to begin and was able to secure the lead female role.
Director Lolly Foy is also new to SSTC, but she has already directed “Little shop of horrors.” She previously directed the musical for Mankato’s Merely Players. Foy jumped at the chance to lead the musical once again.
“I like the game” said Foy. “It was easy to get me to start over, which is surprising since it’s a busy summer.”
Foy lives in the Twin Cities but has been housed at the Grand Center for Arts and Culture as a guest artist. Despite her busy schedule, Foy said she has no regrets about taking on the task of carrying out.
“It’s an incredible cast” she said.
Asked about her favorite part of the music, Foy said she was thrilled with the sensibility of the show’s camp and poked fun at the mid-20th century horror stories that took themselves so seriously.
“We can’t help but love them now” she said.
As a parody of older B-movies, the play features a throwback aesthetic. The entire cast will be dressed in costumes from the early 1960s. Costume designer Molly Smith has put together a lot of looks from the ’60s. This includes lots of stylish shoes and bow ties. Smith said that even with the ’60s frame, she tried to add a few styles from the’ 40s.
“If it’s a classic style, it will work” Smith said. The idea is to make the production larger than life and colorful.
Despite some of the horror elements of the musical, the show is still upbeat and fun.
The upbeat and fun attitude is especially true of music.
Foy described the music of Little Shop of Horrors as contagious. Almost everyone on the cast and crew has a different song that they cite as their favorite. Foy said “Small shop” is probably the biggest earworm, but “Suddenly Seymour” is a close second.
Several other cast and crew members said “Skid Row” was their favorite. Brady Waibel liked the last song “Finale Ultimo (Do not feed the plants). “
Michael Bovée who is one of the puppeteers of Audrey II, loves the song “Supper time” even if it is relatively short.
Christian Hanel, who plays the man-eater Audrey II, couldn’t decide which song was the best.
“All the songs are bop” Hanel said.
The character of Audrey II is the most unique character in “Little shop of horrors”. Koester said the Audrey II puppet takes place in three stages.
The first step is a hand puppet. Then it is placed on a table. The last is a huge human-sized puppet. Koester explained that since the puppet needs to eat people, it needs to be big enough that a person can fit inside. The puppet is rented to a company which lends their Audrey II to other productions.
Since the character is a giant man-eating plant, no actor can play the character on their own. The last phase of Audrey II is a large puppet operated by Bovée and Elissa Ries and voiced by Hanel.
Bovée and Hanel will work together to ensure that the puppet’s mouth movements match her voice. It takes a lot of repetitions to synchronize the performance with the vocals.
The Audrey II factory requires some logistical planning, but director Foy said the biggest challenge with this production was balancing privacy and distance in its staging.
The COVID pandemic has raised many questions about live theater. They want to make sure that the actors and the audience stay healthy, but stay honest. COVID restrictions have been lifted in Minnesota, but after a year of absence, it takes time to relearn how to stand together again. This is a challenge that faces all musical theater.
Foy said the cast rose to the challenge and gave it their all.
“There is real talent in this cast. It is a joy to listen to them sing. she said. “I wanted them all on stage and we found a way. If nothing else, it will be a feast for the ears.
The public will be able to see and hear for themselves next week. Performances take place on Friday July 23 and Saturday July 24 at 7 p.m. with a performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday July 25.
Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Hy-Vee and online. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Advanced tickets cost $ 8 for students and $ 12.50 for adults. At the door, tickets are $ 10 for students and $ 15 for adults.